|Last update 23/3/16|
by Neil Hawes
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Whitton Choral Society (WCS) was formed in 1968 as a result of a group of people from local churches coming together at St. Augustine's Church once a year to take part in a music and mime production. The group expanded into performing concert versions of Gilbert and Sullivan such as "Patience" and "Trial by Jury" at an ecumenical Harvest Supper, and then incorporated a Good Friday cantata that was generally sung at the Baptist Church.* Many of its members are still from local churches, but there is also a wider membership.
The original conductor was Revd. (now Revd. Canon) Beau Brandie, who was curate at St. Augustine's Church, Whitton. Ian McFarlane took over as Musical Director in January 1971 when Father Brandie left the area, and was in the post for nearly 40 years until his death in 2009. Ian McFarlane was a former saxophone pupil at Kneller Hall and then served with The Highland Light Infantry Band for eight years in Palestine, Malta and touring Benghazi and Torbruk whilst in Egypt. Upon leaving the army he took up choral singing and conducting.
Neil Hawes was appointed as the Director of Music in May 2009.
* Thanks to Canon Brandie for this information.
From 2000 to 2006 our programme was particularly varied and exciting and involved combining with other choirs and groups for a number of events:
The choir at a rehearsal in Whitton Baptist Church in March 2007:
The choir at the summer concert 3rd July 2010 in the hall of Whitton Baptist Church: